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Sarah Carson is a mother of two and grandmother of two more, living quietly on the BC coast and minding her own business and generally being quite ordinary - or so it seems until one fine day when she goes out to work in her garden and she has a stroke. From that moment, the lives of everyone around Sarah begin to change. Her daughter Lorraine puts the kids in the car and drives to Sarah's side, leaving her husband behind and wondering whether to bother going back. Sarah's other daughter Christine finds she is more willing to give up her commercial fishing licence than her lover Annwyn, although she had thought it was the other way around. The whole family faces the fact that Lorraine's young son is his own worst enemy and they may be part of the problem. Then the ripples spread out through everyone else in Sarah's life: David, a friend who has spent years in an emotional holding pattern; Bruno, a neighbour who has never declared his feelings for Sarah; and Old Annie, Wee Annie, Conrad, Tyrone, both the Jens and a host of other friends and family. Even Babalouie the cat changes his mind about what matters. This is a story about one woman's slow and painful recovery from a serious illness, a story about a family taking an honest look at itself and a story about the power of love. "It takes a whole community to raise a child," as the old saying goes, and this lucid, startling novel shows that it also takes only one middle-aged woman to change a whole community forever.